Isaac Davison is a NZ Herald political reporter.

Prison staff could wear cameras to reduce assaults

The incident occurred after the man returned from court. Photo / File
The incident occurred after the man returned from court. Photo / File

Prison staff could be asked to wear cameras as part of measures to reduce assaults on guards in New Zealand jails.

An advisory panel led by former Police Commissioner Howard Broad has reviewed the Corrections Department's safety rules and made a range of recommendations.

The panel supported increased training and mentoring for new custodial staff, and a separate training programme to help community-based staff deal with situations that could lead to aggression.

Other changes included a new mental health awareness programme for Corrections staff in high-risk areas to help identify disorders.

Corrections staff who worked in potentially dangerous parts of jail would be given better access to handcuffs.

The department would also investigate the use of on-body cameras within prisons to help with evidence gathering and training.

The revised rules were designed to help Corrections meet its goal of halving attacks on staff by 2015.

There were 13 assaults on staff in the year to June, and 18 in 2011/12.

Corrections Minister Anne Tolley said Government had already introduced a range of initiatives to improve staff safety, such as providing `tactical exit training' to all frontline staff and arming them with pepper spray.

In 2009, Corrections introduced stab-proof vests, spit-hoods and batons for staff in high-risk areas.

- NZ Herald

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